Jake would love to hear your comments about the race.The 54th running of the Daytona 500 was rained out for the first time ever. The race was then moved from twelve o'clock on Monday to seven o'clock, when the race did start with Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle in the front row. I don't think anyone expected what came next.
Going into the second lap Elliot Sadler tapped Jimmy Johnson, sending him into the wall, in the crash Danica Patrick was wrecked making this her third crash of this weekend at Daytona. David Ragan, Trevor Bayne and Kurt Busch also were involved, only Ragan and Johnson were forced out for good.
The next incident happened on the 13th lap when Ryan Newman lost a tire and spun and then was rear ended in the pits by A.J. Allmendinger. Jeff Gordon blew up his engine on lap 81, and then the race for the halftime money of $200,000 was being held with Martin Truex Jr. getting the push for the halfway money.
The incident on lap 160 involving Juan Pablo Montoya trying to catch up to the pack on a yellow caution was probably one of the most spectacular and the most odd that I have ever seen. Montoya is driving near the bottom apron going into turn three, when he suddenly lurches straight into a jet drier truck being driven close to the outside wall, the ensuing crash causes an instantaneous explosion and fireball. The #42 careens off to the center field and Montoya climbs out of his car, the drier driver is also pulled out and helped to safety.
With all the fire and dripping jet fuel the race is red flagged for more than two hours, during this time track officials douse the fire and then remove the burned out truck. They then have the task of checking the track surface for any fire damage and making certain the fuel spill is cleaned up. The fire damage is patched over, and the track is ready for the final forty laps.
While this is going on the drivers are meeting on the track...I would imagine comparing race info, except for Brad Keslowski who is tweeting to his followers. He increased his following by 55,000 people in the time the red flag was up. (Where had he kept this phone?)
The highlight of this was Dave Blaney, a 75-1 underdog having the lead due to a later than most pit stop. I think one thing he was hoping for was a rainfall or a called race for a damaged track, but that was not to be. With another spinout taking Tony Stewart out with a few laps remaining and some pounding by Denny Hamlin the final laps were good for Matt Kenseth who was having a great run with his teammate Greg Biffle running second and Dale Earnhart Jr. running third. Biff helped Matt from a late charging Jr. but could not help himself as Jr. pulled alongside him and slingshot himself to second place.All in all the race was entertaining and had the usual pack race big crashes that have been missing the last two years because of the two-car draft. The fans spoke and NASCAR listened, giving us a good race for the start of another great season. If the rest of the season is as entertaining as this (minus the fire), I think the rule changes pertaining to the two car draft are well worth it.
Friday, March 02, 2012
What follows is an excellent recap of this year's Daytona 500 by this blog's most loyal reader, Jake DaSnake. As you'll be able to tell from this guest blog, it was a very exciting race, even if many people, including yours truly, were unable to see the ending live: